Big John Bates & the Voodoo Dollz was formed by Gretsch guitarist John Bates in 2000 and continued until 2010. Influenced by the Cramps, Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet, the Reverend Horton Heat, the Gruesomes and the new burlesque revolution their gothabilly sound was driven by Bates’ desire to create a high octane touring show.
Bates became the first artist to bring burlesque performers on tour throughout Europe and North America, eventually featuring more than 30 dance performers. They used sexuality, fire, taboo, switchblades and sword-swallowing to enthral audiences and the group played over 1500 shows in 18 countries.
Bates has performed with Solomon Burke, the Blasters, The Belrays, The Supersuckers, th’ Legendary Shack Shakers, Dex Romweber, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Koko Taylor and Andre Williams. They performed at festivals worldwide including Ink & Iron (US), Ribs & Blues (NE), Big Time Out (CA), Shambhala (CA), Stemwede (DE), Halifax Pop Explosion, (CA), Sjock Festival (BE) and Canadian Music Week (CA).